The spinal cord is defined as a bundle of nerves that run through the central canal of the spinal column’s vertebrae. Its primary function is to send messages from the brain to various parts of the body with regard to movement and sensation.
An injury to one’s spinal cord injury can be devastating and, often, life-changing. Spinal cord injuries often lead to a permanent loss of function or sensation in ones’ upper and/or lower extremities. Some injuries to the spinal cord may even impact one’s ability to breathe on their own.
Those facing a spinal cord injury are usually unable to return to their lives as they knew before the injury. Most can’t work and require medical care for the rest of their lives – which is financially and emotionally burdensome.
When a devastating injury has been caused by someone else’s negligence, the emotional toll of the injury is amplified. If a loved one, or yourself, has a spinal cord injury, you may be entitled to compensation. This is best explored by consulting with experienced spinal cord injury lawyers.
What Is A Spinal Cord Injury?
A spinal cord injury damages one or more of the spinal cord’s parts –
- Nerves within the spinal canal
An injury to the spinal cord typically occurs by some form of trauma that impacts or severs the spinal cord. Although not always present, swelling, bleeding, and even fluid buildup on the spine can occur. And if the spinal nerves have been damaged, it is likely the nerves & muscles beneath the injured region will also be impacted.
With modern, experimental treatments being explored, there have been some promising developments in the field of medicine and device assistance that help spinal cord victims function more independently than ever thought possible.
The Signs & Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries
The symptoms and signs of a spinal cord injury cover a wide range and include the following –
- The partial/total loss of upper or lower extremity movement.
- A modified or loss of sensation – this may include the inability to touch or feel cold or hot.
- Extreme back pain (from damaged nerves) or intension spasms.
- Difficulty in breathing, clearing secretions of the lungs – coughing.
- The loss of control over one’s bowel or bladder.
- Sexual dysfunction, insensitivity, and infertility.
- Muscle weakness.
- A lack of coordination, difficulty when walking or balancing.
- Paralysis in any area of the body.
- Twisting of the neck or back.
The Common Causes of Spinal Injuries
According to HopkinsMedicine.org, the most common causes of spinal cord injuries happen when the neck or spine is compressed or bent from –
- Motor Vehicle Accidents — these involve cars, motorcycles, or pedestrians struck by either. Motor vehicle accidents are typically the primary cause of the majority of spinal cord injuries
- Falls — injuries resulting from falls from tall heights – like a ladder or s slip, trip, & fall accidents. Those 65+ are particularly vulnerable.
- Acts of violence — Violent crimes (knife or gunshot wounds) account for many spinal cord injuries in Houston, TX.
- Sports and recreation injuries — Contact sports, such as football, soccer, or wrestling. Shallow diving may also cause a spinal cord injury.
However, non-traumatic injuries may cause damage to the spinal cord, as follows –
- Autoimmune diseases
- Tumors compressing the spine, among others.
Classifying Spinal Cord Injuries
The severity of a spinal cord injury is contingent on the exact location of the injury. Overall, the higher the injury occurs on the spinal cord – which means it is closer to the brain, the more likely one will lose all or some of their mobility and sensation.
Spinal cord injuries to the lower sections of the spinal cord tend to have less impact on the individuals’ movement and voluntary control.
Injuries that occur to the spinal cord may lead to paralysis. Quadriplegia is when the arms, hands, legs, trunk, and pelvic organs are impacted. Paraplegia is defined as paralysis to all or part of the legs, pelvic organs, and trunk.
Contact Our Experienced Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers in Houston, TX
Regardless of the events surrounding the accident, our experienced spinal cord injury lawyers in Houston, TX, will work to help each client receive just compensation. Damages may include medical expenses, rehabilitation, assistive devices, future earnings, and any required modification to the client’s residence.
Do you love or know someone who has a spinal cord injury from an accident?
If so, it is essential for them to consult with an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer today!